N.C. sheriff’s office employees sport ‘MCSO vaccinated’ wristbands

The wristbands are an effort to not only encourage staff vaccination, but to help those seeking assistance feel comfortable as well


By Brandon Hamilton
The Charlotte Observer
        
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — You may notice some Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office employees wearing a wristband to say they are vaccinated against COVID-19.

It’s an effort to not only increase vaccination numbers in the sheriff’s office — but to make sure those outside the officer are comfortable when seeking emergency assistance.

”We had to think of the best way to recognize who’s vaccinated and who’s not,” said Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden.

”We had to think of the best way to recognize who’s vaccinated and who’s not,” said Sheriff Garry McFadden.
”We had to think of the best way to recognize who’s vaccinated and who’s not,” said Sheriff Garry McFadden. (Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office via WBTV)

The wristband says “MCSO vaccinated.”

“You can enter the building,” McFadden said. ”My staff who are not fully vaccinated still have to go through a procedure, they also have to bring us a card saying that they’re trying to get a test every seven days or get a negative test before they get a vaccine.”

The wristbands have already caught the attention of county commissioner Leigh Altman.

”I think it’s meaningful to see our officers in uniform wearing that band and showing they got vaccinated to protect themselves and to protect the community members whom they are engaging,” she said.

She also posted on social media Sunday, “This is a great way to help promote vaccine acceptance throughout the community.”

The sheriff’s office says 64 percent of the 1,027 full-time employees are vaccinated. Right now, getting vaccinated is not required.

McFadden says he understands the work needed to overcome vaccine hesitancy.

“We face the same things everyone else faces. We’re trying to encourage them that we’re coming inside an institution trying to help people and we’re housed here for 12 hours a day or sometimes longer. So, when you go in and out we just want to decrease that chance of you bringing the virus back in,” he added.

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